What is your purpose? What do we live for?
It was pretty early in the morning when I opened email, and found these sentences staring back at me. I love the morning coffee time, and was preparing to dedicate my day to writing the end of a chapter I’ve been struggling with, addressing baby shower envelopes, preparing for a weekend camping trip. I wasn’t anticipating questions of life.
What is my purpose? What do I live for? What has shaped and destined my day?
Oh, man,” I thought. “My reason for living. How much time do you have?”
I sat my coffee down and scribbled out a list. In it, I could find one thread. Love. Seriously. I love deeply, wholly and truly. I investigated it a step further by jotting a list of what I wanted to leave as a legacy in life. Here is my personal mission “statement” in development.
1. Leave the world a better place having committed myself to helping people struggling with life.
In some ways, I think that there are more expressive things …mediums…. than written words. I can use words to express to you that my heart aches tonight, but that doesn’t give you the ambiance of the moment I am in. It’s a test of endurance for me to make it through each day with my chin off the ground. I want so badly for someone to wake me and say “hey, what a dream that was, eh?” I have cluttered this writing with photographs I have taken… moments that were glimpsed in other days of life. Can you tell me, if on that day, my heart ached?
2. Be wholly and truthfully committed to raising both personally and socially responsible human people (a.k.a. my kids) to lead a life with purpose. Their own purpose….not mine.
3. Live my own days being authentic, artistic, and content with who I am. Change and learn to encourage personal growth. Believe in the dreams of my future days, and in the trials of today. I have faith in love.
No matter how much I think that John Lennon was right, just tossing the word “love” out there – it’s pretty ambiguous. Love is both the curse that breaks me, and the steel that girds my frame. Love is what has my soul frozen into immobility, and also challenges me to pursue my dreams. Love has left me – and love will, I hope, find it’s way home. Love is both irreplaceable, and unobtainable….I think that, no matter what is going on in life, I believe that the truth – love – will always prevail. Real love.
No matter what your “why” is, and what parts of it are out of your control, the “how” is all up to you. Honestly. I can think of a million moments in days past that make life worth the short bursts of rain.
What is my purpose? Well, today, it’s to tell you about love. Although you may be in a space where heartbreak has you by the shorts, I hope that you’ll hear me out. You see, you are more than your current emotional situation. You have a dream, a destiny. I can look out over the future I imagine, and know that it’s a real, tangible thing. I can smell the crisp mountain air, and hear the heart beat of the trees. I can believe, without reason or hope. I can love faith in the future, and see where that takes me. More than that, I can be a contagious source. I can hope for you, too.
I’ve known the impact of positive thought and productive action for a good while, further ingrained by watching another person consistently be the voice of optimism for several years. I hope that you’ll take out a moment, right this second, and just list the three joys that come to your heart. No pause, don’t overthink it, just …. be.
So, what is on your list?
Are the negatives or positives? “I love it when he falls off the face of the earth….,” that is a negative. Just teasing. I love so many things about life. For instance, really good coffee. There are few moments that can’t be made calm by that early cup of amazing coffee, sitting on the front porch in the quiet. On a hot summer night, there is little that I love more than watching the fireflies climb the evening sky into the tops of the trees, a cold beverage and that comfortable feeling of being totally happy with who and where you are. Working in the garden, listening to the wind through the trees, planting flowers, painting.
I love walking in the snow, walking in the summer grass, hiking in the mountains and exploring the edges of lakes in the fall. Those things are beautiful, no matter how I feel in a moment of time.
Love is more than an emotion. It’s a verb. It says “I’m going to commit myself to putting your needs and feelings high on my list.” It understands that to love another, you must commit to loving and caring for yourself. Love isn’t vain, doesn’t look down on differences, doesn’t keep score. Love hears the venting from other parts of the day, and knows that it’s “safe space.” Love isn’t usually convenient, clean or even easy. Love… real love … requires two unique souls, brought into unique harmony. It is “long suffering,” because it doesn’t give up. It’s willing to look stupid, if it has to, to pursue real peace. Love … it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s more than emotions. It’s a way of life.
I wish you love, in your walk through this day and all others. Love for yourself, the world around you, for another soul, for the moments that make a journey.
Keep your eyes open. There is wonder all around you.